Foster & Lloyd Biography

It's Already Tomorrow

Foster & Lloyd's 2011 CD, It's Already Tomorrow. Photo courtesy of Ellis Creative.

Looking back at the history of music, you can pinpoint those times when change takes place...something new replaces the old. Music that once sounded "like this" suddenly sounds "like that." In the 1930’s, country music was considered to be the sound of hillbilly string bands. When the music was electrified, a honky-tonk shuffle played with a drummer became the new sound. It was still country.

In the mid-to late 1980s, there was another sea change—a short period of undeniable diversity coming out of Nashville that broke through on country radio. Steve Earle famously referred to it as "the great credibility scare," a time of creative freedom that’s rarely been seen since. In the thick of that wide-open feeling, the duo of Foster & Lloyd came together and—along with Earle, Dwight Yoakam, Lyle Lovett, Rodney Crowell and others—was a part of the movement that changed the sound of country music and pioneered the Americana movement.

In 1985, Radney Foster and Bill Lloyd were two young singer-songwriters signed to the same song publisher. They came from different backgrounds but had enough in common to create an almost immediate response to the songs they co-wrote and recorded. Their first success came as songwriters (early songs were recorded by Sweethearts of the Rodeo and Ricky Van Shelton), but it was the distinctive sound of their publishing demos that gained them their record deal with RCA Records.

The duo mixed straight up Buckaroo country with jangly-Byrds sounds, looking and sounding a little louder than most of the other country acts of the era. Their first single, the rockabillyish-honky-tonkin’, "Crazy Over You," shot to the top of the charts, making them the first duo in Country music history to score a No. 1 on their debut single.

Foster & Lloyd also became one of the first acts to be played simultaneously on country and College radio, sharing common musical ground and press accolades with Rank and File, Lone Justice and the Blasters. The combination of their harmony vocals (recalling everyone from The Everly Brothers to Rockpile) with their self-produced guitar-centric sound and solid, clever song craft won over critics and fans alike.

In the end, they recorded three groundbreaking albums for RCA (containing hits "Sure Thing," "What Do You Want From Me This Time," "Texas in 1880" and "Fair Shake," as well as "Crazy Over You"), toured internationally, garnered a Grammy nomination and were a constant presence at the CMA awards.

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